Cable Car business case

Alistair Johnston made this Freedom of Information request to Transport for London

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Transport for London,

Please provide the latest full business case for the cable car project.

If not the same document please also provide the business case that was presented at the highest-level meeting where the cable car was approved.

Yours faithfully,

Alistair Johnston

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Johnston

TfL Ref: FOI-0844-1112

Thank you for your email received by Transport for London (TfL) on 23 September 2011 asking for a copy of the business case for the cable car project.

Your request will be processed in accordance with the requirements of the Environmental Information Regulations and TfL’s information access policy.

A response will be provided to you by 21 October 2011.

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss this matter further, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Graham Hurt
FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team
IACT, General Counsel
Transport for London
[TfL request email]

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Alistair Johnston

Your previous message tells me told me I would receive a response by 21 October 2011. I did not. Please can you explain why the response is now outside the legally-required period and provide the information I have requested.

Yours sincerely,

Alistair Johnston

(For reference a history of this request can be found here: http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ca...)

FOI, Transport for London

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Johnston

 

TfL Ref: FOI-0844-1112

 

Thank you for your email received by Transport for London (TfL) on 23
September 2011 asking for a copy of the business case for the cable car
project.

 

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of
the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and TfL’s information access policy. 

 

I regret we have not been able to resolve your request within the
statutory 20 working day deadline.

 

We intend to provide you with a full response by 4 November 2011. Please
accept my apologies for this delay.

 

 In the meantime, if you have any queries relating to your request, please
do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to
appeal.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

James Grant

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

Corporate Governance Directorate

General Counsel

Transport for London

[1][TfL request email]

 

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Alistair Johnston

Dear James,

Thanks for your response. I still would like to receive the requested data, but I'm really confused why providing a business case should even take 20 days. It must exist, or you would have said so, so all you need to do is provide it. There is no provision under the Freedom of Information Act to allow you to choose to delay a request without good reason, so I would like an explanation as to the delay for such a simple request.

Yours sincerely

Alistair Johnston

Alistair Johnston

Dear James,

I have still not received a response even though you said a response would be provided by 21 October and then 4 November.

This case is now very overdue. You are in breach of the Freedom of Information Act and you have provided no explanation why.

I still expect my question to be answered, but I am now also requesting an internal review. I am extremely disappointed that TfL does not take its legal obligations seriously.

You can find a full history of this request here:

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ca...

Yours sincerely,

Alistair Johnston

DPA, Transport for London

Dear Mr Johnston

 

Request for internal review

 

Our reference IRV-070-1112

 

Thank you for your request for an internal review which was received by
Transport for London (TfL) on 7 November 2011.

 

You have stated that you are dissatisfied with the handling of your
request for information under the Freedom of Information Act

 

The review will be conducted by an internal review panel in accordance
with TfL’s Internal Review Procedure, which is available via the following
URL:

[1]http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/f...

 

Every effort will be made to provide you with a response by 2 December
2011. However, if the review will not be completed by this date, we will
contact you and notify you of the revised response date as soon as
possible.

 

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss this matter further, please
do not hesitate to contact me on the number given below.

 

Ida Harris of behalf of

 

Peter Sloane

 

Senior Information Governance Adviser
Information Access & Compliance Team | General Counsel | Transport for
London
5th Floor, Windsor House, 42-50 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0TL
T: 020 7126 4912 auto 64912
F: 020 7126 3185
E: [2][email address]

 

TfL has recently adopted an ‘information security classification scheme’
to help protect its information assets. If you work for TfL or one of its
subsidiaries and want to find out how this affects you, see the new
[3]Quick Guide or visit [4]Source for more information.

 

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/f...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://source.tfl/pdfs/IA_QG1_Informatio...
4. http://source.tfl/OurCompany/Governance/...

FOI, Transport for London

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Johnston

 

TfL ref:  FOI-0844-1112

 

Thank you for your email received by Transport for London (TfL) on 26
September 2011 asking for information about the Cable Car project.

 

Your request has been considered under the requirements of the
Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) and TfL’s information access
policy. I apologise for the delay in replying. I can confirm that TfL
holds the information you require. You asked for:

 

The latest full business case for the cable car project.

 

Please see the attached document ‘Cable Car Need and Bus Case.pdf’.  This
is the latest version of the paper which includes the business case which
was approved, as well as some wider context.  However, while it is the
current version, it will need to be updated to take account of the final
forecast costs, third party contributions, and the final fares and
ticketing strategy, which will influence the final levels of forecast
demand, revenues and benefits.

 

However, in accordance with the EIR, TfL is not obliged to supply some of
the information contained in this document as it is subject to a statutory
exception to the right of access to information, under Regulation 12(5)(e)
- commercial confidentiality to protect an economic interest.

 

In this instance the exception has been applied as TfL is in ongoing
negotiations with commercial sponsors around the detail of the sponsorship
contracts which are intended to provide a large part of the project
funding. Release of out of date draft data on prospective revenues and
income from commercial sponsors could hinder TfL’s position in
negotiations on the detail of the contract. This information has been
redacted from the business case.

 

The use of this exception is subject to an assessment of the public
interest in relation to the disclosure of the information concerned.  TfL
recognises the need for openness and transparency by public authorities,
but in this instance the public interest favours the use of the exception
because of the importance of securing for the public purse the best
possible income receipts from third parties.

 

If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable
to access it for some reason, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to
appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would
like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

James Grant

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

IACT, General Counsel

Transport for London

[1][TfL request email]

 

 

 

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Dear James

Thank you for replying, although it is very late and with no explanation for the delay.

I still await the outcome of the internal review which I hope will explain why this case took so long to respond. The document you have sent appears to have no date - could you say what date this copy of the document dates from?

I support the right for TfL to redact documents of commercially sensitive information. As you say, negotiations are ongoing. Once complete this barrier will no longer exist, and I assume the full, unaltered, business case will be released.

Yours sincerely,

Alistair Johnston

Sloane Peter, Transport for London

7 December 2011

 

Our ref: IRV-070-1112

 

Dear Mr Johnston

 

The internal review of TfL’s response to your Environmental Information
Regulations request has been completed.

 

The review found that in failing to respond to your request within 20
working days, TfL contravened the requirements of Regulation 5(2). The
review found that this was a result of the time taken for the Planning
Directorate to provide the information and then for the draft response to
signed off by the appropriate business areas. There were some concerns
about whether we would be able to release associated figures, such as
revenue estimates or sponsorship details, while negotiations were still
ongoing and these were raised at a late stage, requiring the consideration
of an exception. The review noted that it would have been appropriate to
notify you of this delay and at the same time lawfully extend the deadline
for providing you with a response, as provided for by Regulation 7(1). I
am sorry that this was not done and that you were not kept better
informed.

 

On behalf of TfL I apologise for the failings in how your request for
information was handled and for the delay in providing you with this
response. The findings of this review are being communicated back to the
request handlers and they will be reminded of TfL’s responsibility to
ensure that Environment Information requests receive a response within the
statutory deadline.

 

You also raised a question concerning the date of the document in
question. I have found that the reason that the document is undated is
because it is the latest draft, which is being updated as necessary since
negotiations for this project are ongoing and therefore some associated
figures are subject to change. The first version was prepared in Spring
2011, the first draft being dated April 2011 and the first version May
2011.

 

You also queried whether the full, unredacted business case will be
released once negotiations are complete. I cannot confirm at this point
whether or not there any definite plans to release the unredacted
information at this point. The Regulations allow for information to be
withheld, subject one or more of the exceptions in the Regulations, but
this does not necessarily equate to a requirement to publish the
information once any time-based sensitivities have expired. However, it
would certainly be reasonable to contact us once the negotiations are
complete to determine whether or not TfL considers that the exception is
still applicable. I can also check whether there are any plans concerning
publication if you wish.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of this internal review, you can
refer the matter to the independent authority responsible for enforcing
the Environmental Information Regulations, at the following address.

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

 

A complaint form is available on the ICO’s website ([1]www.ico.gov.uk).

 

Yours sincerely

 

Peter Sloane

 

Senior Information Governance Adviser
Information Access & Compliance Team | General Counsel | Transport for
London
5th Floor, Windsor House, 42-50 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0TL
T: 020 7126 4912 auto 64912
F: 020 7126 3185
E: [2][email address]

 

TfL has recently adopted an ‘information security classification scheme’
to help protect its information assets. If you work for TfL or one of its
subsidiaries and want to find out how this affects you, see the new
[3]Quick Guide or visit [4]Source for more information.

 

show quoted sections

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ico.gov.uk/
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://source.tfl/pdfs/IA_QG1_Informatio...
4. http://source.tfl/OurCompany/Governance/...

Dear Peter

Thank you for the response. This is not the first time I've had a request very much delayed by TfL with no explanation for the delay. At best the internal review was a slap on the wrist. There is no legal provision in the FOI act to unilaterally extend the time it will take to respond unless the reason for this is communicated to the requester. Even my first response from you, more than 20 working days after the request was submitted, did not contain any such reason.

The ICO Guidance is clear on this:

http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/... (and see linked PDF)

The language above makes it appear that you do not take this seriously. "The review noted that it would have been appropriate to notify you of this delay". That understates your obligations.

The ICO also requires an internal review to provide "a fair and thorough review of handling issues and of decisions taken pursuant to the Act…”. The one paragraph above doesn't give me much confidence on this.

Yours sincerely,

Alistair Johnston